Before we think of Michael Strahan's Hall of Fame career, before we think of his transition from football superstar to morning talk show host, we turn into schoolchildren, and we think of the gargantuan gap in between his two front teeth. It's immature, but it's true: he's become inseparably linked to a dental imperfection.
(Kirby Lee, USA Today)
At first, this seems like a non-story: of course a sculpture will try to resemble the person who is being sculpted. However, when you look at everybody else's metal face, they're all stone-faced:
Looks like they got the gap in the teeth of Michael Strahan's HOF bust just right. pic.twitter.com/FUUDaaaHO6
— Josh Katzowitz (@joshkatzowitz) August 2, 2014
Most Hall of Fame busts depict non-smiling players, but Strahan insisted that his famous gap be included. The current issue of the New Yorker profiles Hall of Fame sculptor Blair Buswell, and discussed Strahan's decision to go smiley at length:
Buswell lets players choose the likeness they prefer (young or old, bearded or clean-shaven), but he typically discourages them from smiling. "I give them disclosures, and one of them is that bronze teeth never look right," he said, noting that the former Broncos quarterback John Elway complained, in 2004, that his teeth looked like Chiclets. But Strahan was insistent—"I want to be the smiling giant"—so the sculptor agreed. "I’ll do it," Buswell said. "I’ll just say it’s not the most popular choice."
Buswell brought a clay model of Strahan's head and a pair of calipers to the "Live! with Kelly and Michael" studio and studied Strahan's gap for four hours as he tried to perfect the famous dental flaw. But Strahan didn't see the bust until Saturday, and, well, the photos sure make it seem like he liked it: In a December 2012 interview with "Elle," Strahan talked about his decision to leave the gap, saying that after visits to a dentist, he decided that "This is who I am."
We're glad the sculptor paid more attention to detail thanthe guy who made these SRTAHAN shirts.